Well, we’re here. We flew into Altamira on Sat afternoon after spending two nights in Belem, on the coast. The trip was smooth and long. Our luggage won’t arrive for a few days but we’ve been encouraged not to worry. We probably broke some kind of airline record for amount of traveling baggage. We racheted down as far as our American selves could and still brought 18 boxes. We laugh when we consider how we will fit all this stuff in our home here. We arrived pretty whipped and feeling a range of emotions. Our departure was so bitter-sweet. We were so encouraged in our task as we left. Our emotional good-byes with you reinforced to us how incredibly good God has been to us in this recent season of our lives. We’ve been given a slice of what we all will one day experience in our Father’s home. Sweet words of gratitude and affection between each other and with the One who has given every gift and who has arranged every relationship. We all too much hold back words of affection and gratitude that God could use to build up and encourage one another. The overwhelming emotion felt on leaving was gratitude. This mixed with a sense of grief in leaving such sweet fellowship. The emotions are so deep and so felt. The love we have received and the love we feel is not of this world. It motivates us to be here all the more so as to see those here experince such love and fellowship, with Him and His.
Then we arrived in Altamira. Such a sweet welcome. Another uncommon blessing to be so received. And a new set of emotions. Some culture shock as we drive and walk the streets. This is a city of shacks. The total inability to communicate is immediately frustrating. The critters’ (frogs in the kitchen, ants the size of a small paperclip, unrelenting fellowship with so many flies, and not any sign of a rat!) welcome. The desire to be used in what God is doing here and the overwhelming sense of not being ready or not being well enough equipped (felt lies). It is very hot. Everything is quite different than what we’re used to. Its so tempting to begin running, but our immediate task is to adjust. Nothing more. Stay close. Love each other. Be a dad, be a mom. Be a spouse. We set about this task with you in mind. You’ve made it so clear that we that we are in your hearts. We begin our task here so blessed. Oh, that those here could have what we have….
The kids seem to be doing well. They run and play and jump on the trampoline and swing on the swing all day. There has been much missing of their friends and a relative ease in forming new relationships. They are really great kids. Luke and Ben got haircuts, they all have a bit of a sunburn and many insect bites. No illnesses yet. Photos to follow.